Mahavishnu Orchestra C/D/S/D

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The Inner Mounting Flame is phenomenal. What else is worth checking out? Other things in a similar vein?

sundar subramanian (sundar), Saturday, 17 May 2003 00:37 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Some rate Birds of Fire as equal to Inner Mounting Flame, but I don't. It's similar, but the themes aren't as epic, the guitar work not as blazing, the overall record not as rocking.

Sean (Sean), Saturday, 17 May 2003 01:04 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

Inner Mounting Flame really is great. the first track in 3/4 (or 6/8 or something, i'm no theory buff) is amazing. i don't own any other Mahavishnu records. but some stuff that's pretty similar, in a heavy fusion mode are:

there's a great album of John McLaughlin and Carlos Santana called "Love, Devotion, Surrender" in which they do a tribute to John Coltrane. it's super duper beautiful and heavy. they're all wearing white outfits and hanging out with their guru Sri Chinmoy on the cover.
Santana was hanging out with Mrs. Alice Coltrane around this time and put out and album with her called "Illuminations" that's not too shabby.
Matching Mole - Robert Wyatt's band after Soft Machine. even though they're considered prog, this is more jazz influenced. the s/t album is my favorite.
Return to Forever - chick corea's band. very fast & complicated stuff.
Tony Williams' Lifetime - ex-Miles drummer. his mid 70s stuff is da bomb. Allan Holdsworth's guitar puts eddie van halen to shame.
The first couple of Weather Report albums kick serious ass. not as heavy as some of this other stuff, but still great.
Michael Urbaniak - Polish fusion with violin as the lead instrument. his wife, Urszula Dudziak sings some wacky shit on a bunch of his albums.
and lastly a modern album - Raoul Björkenheim's "Scorch Trio" with Ingebrigt Haker Flaten and Paal Nilssen-Love on Rune Grammofon. one of my favorite albums of last year. guitar, bass & drums. super heavy modal fusion

JasonD (JasonD), Saturday, 17 May 2003 01:17 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

RUINS do a mahavishnu medley on their last record. they are the best prog after mahavishnu (when mahavishnu are on , like inner mounting flame) but more magma at 78rpm kind athing. one of tatsuya yoshida (ruins' drummer) 's other bands KOREKYOJIN gets quite mahavishnu at times but also slightly surf rock / meters / beefheart too. i like the cheesy mahavishnu w/ orchestra album whatever that one's called.

bob snoom, Saturday, 17 May 2003 07:39 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I absolutely love those first two Mahavishnu Orchestra albums, and the "lost" third album that finally got released a few years ago is quite good too.
You might want to check out the live album from that period as well.

Later stuff is a different affair, I've only heard "Apocalypse" which has an orchestra and everything... Didn't hit the spot at all for me.

Incidentally I'm listening to Shakti's self titled live album right now, which I think might be even better; pure acoustic madness.

Øystein Holm-Olsen (Øystein H-O), Saturday, 17 May 2003 07:43 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

"extrapolation". less ecstatic. more bluesy. john surman.

gaz (gaz), Saturday, 17 May 2003 08:26 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I actually like the Lost Trident Sessions album that came out a couple of years ago quite a bit. It's definitely an end-of-the-band type album where nobody wanted to collaborate on songwriting and so the themes aren't generally as memorable as the earlier albums, but they take all these riffs and motifs that they had left over and just burn through the whole album. Also, there is a tune near the end of the album where Billy Cobham is seriously laying down some dn'b in the mid-70s, I kid you not.

Jordan (Jordan), Saturday, 17 May 2003 18:45 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

MAHAVISHNU ORCHESTA
Inner Mounting Flame- Classic, of course, though a bit jammy for me.

Birds of Fire- I think it's their best, Jan Hammer expands with Moog (okay, maybe a tad cheesy, but I love it anyway)...Generally better music, IMO.

Between Nothingness and Eternity- Hmmm...maybe this is their best one, actually. The live one. Sound is not great, but if I could've attended one concert, it probably would have been this one, from the sound of it. All the songs on Lost Trident Sessions are bested by the versions here. Ending of "Sister Andrea", with Hammer's spiraling Moog and McLaughlin burning that final note is fantastic. "Dream", however, once it gets going, is absolutely fucking insane.

Apocalypse- The beginning of the ensemble version, recorded with an orchestra. Probably their overall least album, despite the talent involved.

Visions of the Emerald Beyond- Excellent; my favorite after Birds of Fire. Very eclectic. "Eternity's Breath 1" is a stunning opening, "Lila's Dance" is also beautiful. The closer, "On the Way Home to Earth"...whoa.

Inner Worlds- A contract fulfiller, too much encroaching Narada Michael Walden (great drummer, but...). However, "All in the Family" and the funky Miles one ("Miles Out"?) are killer.

Lost Trident Sessions- Again, bested by Between Nothingness (except in sound quality), but fans will want to own it anyway.

SHAKTI
Shakti - Live album, hair-raising, ridiculously fast climax at the end of "Joy".

A Handful of Beauty- Nice, but still probably their least.

Natural Elements- I think this was their best, more diverse in sound (non-Indian percussion, etc.), excellent scalloped guitar from McLaughlin. Check out the amazing "The Eagle and the Daffodil" and also "Get Down and Sruti" w/ superb Kanokol (sp?) scatting at the end.

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 17 May 2003 20:32 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

i second the shakti love

there was a recording of mcclaughlin stuff pre-mahavishnu/pre-sri chinmoy, when he was still part of the hangdog brit blues boom, which i was always faintly intrigued by

but i never heard it

mark s (mark s), Sunday, 18 May 2003 10:31 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

I guess I prob. prefer McLaughlin's early solo albs 'Extrapolation' and (esp.) 'Devotion' to any of the Mahavishnu discs. I have a bit of a prob. w/ electric violin as an instrument/sound - and avoid ANYTHING w/ Jean-Luc Ponty (or Carlos Santana, come to that) as a point of principle - tho' I do still love 'Inner Mounting Flame' and 'Birds of Fire'.

Yeah the first two Shakti albs are super-killer - Speed-Bhangra! Sadly, the recentish reunion discs are not specifically too gd.

Andrew L (Andrew L), Sunday, 18 May 2003 17:28 (fifteen years ago) Permalink

one year passes...
Inner mounting Flame is incredible. That 1st track really is awesome.
Is the live album Between Nothingness & Beauty worth getting or should i get some bootlegs off slsk of them?

Andy Jay, Saturday, 5 February 2005 08:05 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

wots that track sapphire bullets of pure love or sommat? that was the headfuck track when i was a kid. i love the mclaughlin/clapton parable on koon=michaelangelo now.

bulbs (bulbs), Saturday, 5 February 2005 08:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I just got an incredible-sounding bootleg of a 1973 concert McLaughlin and Santana did together. The band was McLaughlin, Santana, Larry Young on organ, Doug Rauch on bass, Billy Cobham on drums and Armando Peraza on percussion. There are several existing bootlegs of this show - the guys I got mine from took all of 'em and combined the best parts to create a really, really clean-sounding double disc that contains the entire 2 1/2-hour show. Amazing stuff - seven tracks, all but one running between 15 and 30 minutes.

pdf (Phil Freeman), Saturday, 5 February 2005 16:06 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

What's funny is I've come around to thinking that everything McLaughlin did was great except for Mahavishnu Orchestra. Devotion roolz.

sundar subramanian (sundar), Saturday, 5 February 2005 19:48 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

everything McLaughlin did was great except for Mahavishnu Orchestra

Sundar, you're insane!! ;)

Joe (Joe), Saturday, 5 February 2005 21:45 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

caught some footage of them last night (thought this wz the reason for thread revival) - one thing I wanted to ask is: what's the point of the two neck I saw mclaughin with? is it just that it looks gd? (also the first time I caught D***k B**l** footage and it was hilarity; no mention of the name, just a bit of free improv to show how jazz had left its audience towards the mid-to-late 70s).

Julio Desouza (jdesouza), Saturday, 5 February 2005 23:51 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

I like the acoustic album he did about the time of Mahavishnu Orchestra and Shakti as well. It's called "My Goals Beyond" and has a gorgeous version of "Goodbye Porkpie Hat" as well as a bunch of other niftestuf.

Austin (Austin), Sunday, 6 February 2005 00:09 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

If you like "Extrapolation", be sure to check out Miroslav Vitous' "Infinite Search" as it is of a similar vein and features McLaughlin as a sideman. The rest of the band isn't too shabby, as it is Herbie Hancock, Joe Henderson and Jack DeJohnette. This one was originally put out in 73.

Another notible McLaughlin appearance is on Larry Coryell's "Spaces". The band also includes Billy Cobham and Chick Corea. There is some furious playing on this one. This album also has a couple of acoustic duets that kind of foreshadow the stuff McLaughlin did with Paco DeLucia and Al DiMeola later on. This one came out originally in 74.

Earl Nash (earlnash), Sunday, 6 February 2005 02:00 (thirteen years ago) Permalink

six months pass...
After having the main hook from track 1 of IMF pop into my head inexplicably, I've started listening to it again. I can't deny there's some truly great, blistering stuff there, lines coming together and blazing apart. Parts of it can still be a little difficult, e.g. all that arpeggio twiddling in track 3.

Sundar (sundar), Monday, 22 August 2005 16:14 (twelve years ago) Permalink

You're talking about "Noonward Race", one of the giddiest thrill-rides in recorded history. I just love hearing McLaughlin play those flurries of 16th notes at the end of his solo, only to fuck up and leap headlong back into the song proper before he can do any more damage. That whole track (whole album) owes way more to rock than jazz. (And so what?)

Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, 22 August 2005 17:13 (twelve years ago) Permalink

McLaughlin's tone on those first two albums is quite a heavy lead tone, especially for the time. Jazz needs some more guitarists that are gainiacs.

earlnash, Monday, 22 August 2005 17:16 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Ack, Jan Hammer actually is the same guy who did the Miami Vice theme, isn't he?

Sundar (sundar), Monday, 22 August 2005 18:46 (twelve years ago) Permalink

Yep! I'd prefer to remember him as the keyboard player from 'Stratus', though:

http://www.lp-cd.de/2/B8334_01.jpg

Jordan (Jordan), Monday, 22 August 2005 18:49 (twelve years ago) Permalink

ten months pass...
IMF is so fucking good!

Abbadavid Berman (Hurting), Thursday, 22 June 2006 03:53 (twelve years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

mclaughlin seems really fucking high in this clip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=J88Ep3_vKIk

god, they were really pretty sick and weird and ahead of their time, weren't they?

Jordan, Thursday, 24 January 2008 02:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

So fucking awesome, holy shit they were good.

Bill Magill, Thursday, 24 January 2008 15:05 (ten years ago) Permalink

yeah, when they were good, they were as good as any prog band going (tho my jazz loving dad hates them for that reason). however, when they weren't good = also the reason I don't listen to that much fusion.

Dominique, Thursday, 24 January 2008 16:36 (ten years ago) Permalink

true

Jordan, Thursday, 24 January 2008 16:39 (ten years ago) Permalink

one year passes...

MILES BEYOND

cool app (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 27 March 2009 00:08 (nine years ago) Permalink

I don't think you will ever see a group quite like this one come together again, I was amazed by some really low quality video (though the sound was OK) live clip of Mahavishnu on You Tube a couple of days back. Billy Cobham is a freak of a drummer in a band of freaky good players.

earlnash, Saturday, 28 March 2009 03:54 (nine years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

man Visions of the Emerald Beyond is so fucking sweet

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 15 July 2011 16:53 (seven years ago) Permalink

You're talking about "Noonward Race", one of the giddiest thrill-rides in recorded history. I just love hearing McLaughlin play those flurries of 16th notes at the end of his solo, only to fuck up and leap headlong back into the song proper before he can do any more damage. That whole track (whole album) owes way more to rock than jazz. (And so what?)
― Myonga Von Bontee (Myonga Von Bontee), Monday, August 22, 2005 1:13 PM (5 years ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

This is a brilliant description of this song. The end of McLaughlin's solo he just abrubtly changes gears into the main riff is one of my favorite musical moments. It sounds like he was greasing his strings beforehand with WD-40.

Great great band.

Bill Magill, Friday, 15 July 2011 17:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

anybody heard any of Billy Cobham's solo stuff? his drumming on Birds of Fire is fucking insane.

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 15 July 2011 18:39 (seven years ago) Permalink

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/_HNHy2x3a8fo/SdvXe-rkvyI/AAAAAAAAACQ/xuNuW4CrpOM/s320/billy.jpg
this one's pretty ok, tho it's not really mahavishnu-ish, as the title implies.

tylerw, Friday, 15 July 2011 18:42 (seven years ago) Permalink

"spectrum" is immortal. haven't heard much besides that, and the stuff i have heard is forgettable. get "spectrum"!

hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Friday, 15 July 2011 18:52 (seven years ago) Permalink

yea spectrum

puff puff post (uh oh I'm having a fantasy), Friday, 15 July 2011 18:56 (seven years ago) Permalink

i found this one on the street. i need to relisten to it, but i remember digging it. the title track is a really long, freaky, avant krauty, synth weirdo track.

http://ecx.images-amazon.com/images/I/41NZES9E3VL._SL500_AA300_.jpg

and you should know this one if you listened to mid 90s hip hop

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e3E9vx5vVck

jaxon, Friday, 15 July 2011 18:57 (seven years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Lg86di2p34c

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_cda693NGOc

^flying lotus is repping this vibe hard these days

hardcore oatmeal (Jordan), Friday, 15 July 2011 19:00 (seven years ago) Permalink

anybody heard any of Billy Cobham's solo stuff? his drumming on Birds of Fire is fucking insane.

― pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, July 15, 2011 2:39 PM (47 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

Only Spectrum, Tommy Bolin's finest moment (which is saying a lot). The guy is fucking amazing on that record.

Bill Magill, Friday, 15 July 2011 19:28 (seven years ago) Permalink

thanks guys grabbing spectrum! that track "heather" that jaxon posted is gorgeous too though so mellow & dialed-back

pathos of the unwarranted encore (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Friday, 15 July 2011 19:43 (seven years ago) Permalink

Wow, George Duke rocking the Minimoog and ARP Odyssey both - I thought those fusion guys generally had loyalty to one or the other

Race Against Rockism (Myonga Vön Bontee), Friday, 15 July 2011 22:41 (seven years ago) Permalink

Apparently McLaughlin and Santana reunited at this year's Montreux Jazz Festival. It probably sucked, but I'm gonna see if any bootlegs are floating around.

that's not funny. (unperson), Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:37 (seven years ago) Permalink

Whaddya know, here's some footage of them doing "The Creator Has A Master Plan"...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=230YzDsAUMs

that's not funny. (unperson), Saturday, 16 July 2011 00:40 (seven years ago) Permalink

four years pass...

I just got an incredible-sounding bootleg of a 1973 concert McLaughlin and Santana did together. The band was McLaughlin, Santana, Larry Young on organ, Doug Rauch on bass, Billy Cobham on drums and Armando Peraza on percussion. There are several existing bootlegs of this show - the guys I got mine from took all of 'em and combined the best parts to create a really, really clean-sounding double disc that contains the entire 2 1/2-hour show. Amazing stuff - seven tracks, all but one running between 15 and 30 minutes.

Would love to hear this. There's a great concert on YouTube of the Santa Monica show I believe.

Naive Teen Idol, Saturday, 5 September 2015 04:14 (two years ago) Permalink

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jgz4ESqjj98

cock chirea, Saturday, 5 September 2015 04:37 (two years ago) Permalink

Awesome – thanks, cock. Phil, if you can hear me, I'd love to get my hands on those files if possible.

Naive Teen Idol, Monday, 7 September 2015 20:03 (two years ago) Permalink

The band was McLaughlin, Santana, Larry Young on organ, Doug Rauch on bass, Billy Cobham on drums and Armando Peraza on percussion.
The same band as on "Love Devotion Surrender" of course.

Noel Emits, Monday, 7 September 2015 20:48 (two years ago) Permalink

I'm sure it's easily locatable online. The CD-R version I have was given the title With Loving Devotion to John Coltrane by the assembler.

the top man in the language department (誤訳侮辱), Monday, 7 September 2015 20:59 (two years ago) Permalink

I will hunt this down!

Naive Teen Idol, Tuesday, 8 September 2015 01:11 (two years ago) Permalink

two years pass...

Getting into The Lost Trident sessions this morning, which is one I have not heard much. "Sister Andrea" is a really, really good track. The section on that tune when they break it down low you really hear McLaughlin channeling his inner-Miles Davis ala Sketches of Spain. It certainly sounded like a nod to me.

earlnash, Sunday, 4 February 2018 17:06 (six months ago) Permalink

Billy Cobham's drumming is really the glue that holds these records together imo. I find a lot of McLaughlin's post-Mahavishnu output to be sort of, idk, watery?

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:30 (six months ago) Permalink

Seeing McLaughlin play Mahavishnu tunes live last year was incredible. Agree about Cobham; he's amazing.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:51 (six months ago) Permalink

Who was in his band when you saw him?

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Sunday, 4 February 2018 21:58 (six months ago) Permalink

I really like McLaughlin's first two acoustic jazz records with My Goals Beyond and the first Shakti album. That Shakti album is really intense. Eventually i would like to run into a LP of the San Francisco acoustic trio records. I had that one on tape as a kid and haven't heard it in years.

Apocalypse is pretty good for a Mahavishnu record after the original band. The 80s band sounds pretty 80s, although the stuff with Jonas Hellborg on Adventures in Radioland is pretty groovy.

earlnash, Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:18 (six months ago) Permalink

Yeah Shakti is pretty good, but I never liked the Friday Night in San Francisco or his other acoustic stuff.

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:21 (six months ago) Permalink

Who was in his band when you saw him?

I don't remember all their names, but I wrote about the show for Stereogum in November.

grawlix (unperson), Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:34 (six months ago) Permalink

I like the last track on inner worlds a lot

sleepingbag, Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:39 (six months ago) Permalink

Cobham is insane. I read a story once that when Cobham was a kid, he and his friends would have competitions to see who could keep a quarter pressed against the wall the longest with a roll.

Agree that he holds that group together, but Narada Michael Walden was a solid replacement. So crazy that he became this slick hitmaker. I saw Aretha Franklin this summer, and Walden was playing drums with her, and I kept thinking, huh, the same dude who did "Freeway of Love" and Whitney's "How Will I Know" was in Mahavishnu Orchestra. Anyway, he was a joy to watch, having so much fun. Here's a bit of him backing her at the show I saw:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZzPHaRowxu0

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:52 (six months ago) Permalink

So cool to find this, this is a set I saw McLaughlin do in Spain in 1993, with Dennis Chambers and Joey DeFrancesco!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=po_toT6n9aE

Josh in Chicago, Sunday, 4 February 2018 22:55 (six months ago) Permalink

Who was in his band when you saw him?

4th dimension: ranjit barot, gary husband, etienne mbappé

mbappé was so sick. not only was he an insane bass player but he wore god damned gloves

scoff walker (diamonddave85), Sunday, 4 February 2018 23:02 (six months ago) Permalink

JUst checking out Where fortune Smiles which is McLaughlin either just before he started mahavishnu or a little after. Alongside John Surman, Dave Holland, Karl Berger nad Stu martin.
JUst seen that Esoteric reissued it recently. Sounds interesting so far.

Stevolende, Sunday, 4 February 2018 23:22 (six months ago) Permalink

This is p much the sickest thing ever imo:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10a45mgMGcY

Fedora Dostoyevsky (man alive), Monday, 5 February 2018 05:32 (six months ago) Permalink

What can you say? Wow! I wish more 1970's drummers kept their solos that short n sweet. And of course his technique is absolutely phenomenal. Nice clip.

VyrnaKnowlIsAHeadbanger, Monday, 5 February 2018 06:55 (six months ago) Permalink

"Sunflower" by Milt Jackson, w/Ron Carter, Herbie Hancock, Freddie Hubbard, Jay Berliner and Billy Cobham: a fantastic record.

mahb, Monday, 5 February 2018 10:10 (six months ago) Permalink

He's pretty good in the core unit band on the CTI Allstars first live lp. Tracks like Red Clay on that are really great.

Stevolende, Monday, 5 February 2018 15:21 (six months ago) Permalink

Agree that he holds that group together, but Narada Michael Walden was a solid replacement. So crazy that he became this slick hitmaker. I saw Aretha Franklin this summer, and Walden was playing drums with her, and I kept thinking, huh, the same dude who did "Freeway of Love" and Whitney's "How Will I Know" was in Mahavishnu Orchestra.

He’s also the dude who did this:
https://youtu.be/Rz1GVwLwH2M

Naive Teen Idol, Thursday, 8 February 2018 05:33 (six months ago) Permalink

"Agree that he holds that group together, but Narada Michael Walden was a solid replacement. So crazy that he became this slick hitmaker."

i'm still a little flabbergasted whenever i realize that michael tilson thomas was the guy who did the orchestral stuff on "apocalypse" (and it wasn't very good...)

ziggy the ginhead (rushomancy), Thursday, 8 February 2018 14:21 (six months ago) Permalink

three months pass...

Didn't expect to get into Between Nothingness & Eternity at all but I enjoyed more of it than I thought I would. Cant be bothered with getting into the rest of it right now, so I'm shelving it for now. Didn't think this was so highly thought of.

I thought one of the riffs sounded a hell of a lot like Deep Purple's "Smoke On The Water" but I guess people who know better would have made a deal of that if it really did have much resemblance.

Robert Adam Gilmour, Saturday, 12 May 2018 12:33 (three months ago) Permalink


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